Looking back now of course I can see that I was perhaps a bit too strict in my ways, and that so much of energy and time was directed towards things that didn’t matter, or perhaps to the point that I was going way beyond the threshold of the effective dose. The two prime examples of this was the fact that I felt I needed to eat a minimum of 6-8 meals a day in order to be effective. I was of course wrong in regards to meal frequency, but even when I was focused on the right variables such as sleep I perhaps took it too far. [Read more…]
People think periodization is a complex, sometimes nearly impenetrable topic. Sure, the original forms of periodization that were translated from Russian and used by sports scientists to plan 4-year Olympic training cycles for athletes needing to balance skill, agility, speed, reactivity, strength, endurance, accuracy and coordination training were necessarily complex. Add the language barrier and the cultural mystique between the west and the east during the cold-war era, and you’ve got something that seems insurmountably complex. [Read more…]
I still recall how simple things were as an aspiring bodybuilder (if I were to be totally honest, I was a “chest and arms builder”). I would make it to the gym 3 days a week, perform 12 hard sets for my chest, maybe 3 sets of direct biceps work, and of course, I would end with a set of 21’s to finish America’s favorite muscle off. These were the simplest of times. Outside of those 60 minutes in the gym, I would say that I was a pretty “normal guy”. Little by little things became a bit more complicated and I started to add more and more strategies in order to improve. [Read more…]
What follows is a blog post I originally wrote for the awesome folks at DeNovo Nutrition for the Nutrition Element of their “Elements Education” series (which by the way I’d highly recommend you check out). The Elements team is an incredible group of coaches, thinkers and scientists who are true experts in their fields. Anyway, I thought this was a very important article addressing an all too common issue I frequently see in the physique community, so I wanted to repost this article on our website. Enjoy! [Read more…]
The last few blogs I’ve touched a lot on the importance of context, not looking at the sport as a black and white endeavor, and ensuring you utilize an arsenal of tools to continually progress along your journey. I’m staying true to this theme again and I’m going to make a series out of it! [Read more…]
The same phrase or saying can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
For instance, let’s say you’re a personal trainer working with someone who has an arched back during a plank hold and you would like them to straighten it. Some people will completely understand how to “squeeze their abs”, while others may need to be told to “push their mid-back toward the ceiling”. Both can fix the same saggy position, both can make perfect logical sense, but sometimes individuals simply have different mental models and learning styles.
The last couple of blogs, I’ve touched a lot on the importance of context, not looking at the sport as a black and white endeavor, and ensuring you utilize an arsenal of tools to continually progress along your journey. I truly believe this is the reason I’ve been a far superior bodybuilder in my 40’s than at any other time in my 30+ year career. Much of this has to do with understanding the concept of context, [Read more…]
5) Cybex Hack Squat
If you have some healthy ankles and knees, then you will love this machine. Yes, that is the one huge caveat to this particular model. With an insanely a steep angle, no other movement or machine beats the crap out of my quads the way that this one does. [Read more…]
If you follow sports at all you know that nearly all successful, high level athletes have consistent rituals and cues when it comes to the skills of their sport. For those of you who don’t follow sports I’ll explain. The three-time Wimbledon Tennis champ Serena Williams would bounce the ball five times before her first serve and twice before her second. NBA All Star Jason Kidd would blow a kiss to the rim before every free throw he ever attempted. [Read more…]
“Not Quite the Glute Guy” or “Stunt Double for Bret Contreras” or simply, “How to Perform the Hip Thrust – Lessons from Bret Contreras” – by Eric Helms
This blog post will conclude my posts on “how to lift”, that address some of the more difficult to perform bodybuilding assistance exercises. [Read more…]